If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cooking causes some - shall we say - differences...

Cooking and food have proven to be things that are tough on the harmony of our marriage sometimes. 

I think part of the reason is that I have always thought of myself as a pretty decent cook.  Then, I married somebody who is a fabulous cook.  Plus, we joined together later in life - after we were sort of set-in-our-ways.  Then, there is the fact that both of our mothers are fabulous cooks and we still get spoiled by them cooking for us every now and again. 

I know there is that age-old chuckle about the new bride preparing food for her man after their nuptials and how she burns things and he eats it or how she tries out new recipes and he chokes it down.  We have those experiences in our brief marriage, too.  There is also that age old stigma of the man being the king of outdoor cooking.  We have those experiences as well because I never learned to cook on the grill.  When I was younger, my mother (a REALLY fabulous cook) did that.  Then, my husband got a gas grill for his first Father's Day gift, I think, and he did that.  When the children were old enough, they wanted to compete in outdoor cookery contests and they did that. 

So, there was never a need for me to learn.  Then, one year, my children decided to give me a gas grill for Christmas.  I experimented with it - burning some things till they were rubbery, undercooking some things and having to re-bake them, charring some things and having to toss them, etc.  I didn't become a master of the outdoor cooking techniques because shortly after getting the gas grill, Mike came along and he became my King of the Grill. 

Not only is he the King of the Grill, but he is also the King of the Frypan.  He can stir up the most delicious southern breakfast I have ever eaten on a Sunday morning - actually, most folks would generally just call it brunch because we have gotten spoiled and don't eat till late on Sundays most weekends.  Mike also batters and fries minute steak, fish fillets, and his pork tenderloin is to-die-for!  He has a smoker and can slow cook delicious roasts and turkeys.  (You can see the most outrageous of these attempts chronicled HERE.)  He has a couple of deep fryers and uses them to cook battered squash, okra, fries, hush puppies, and the fish he catches.  (You can see him in action HERE.) 

So, when it comes to meal preparation, menu planning, and dining in general, we have had some - shall we say - differences.  One of the first heated disagreements we ever had was early in our marriage when we were having baked potatoes and had no sour cream.  It has become a running joke in our household that we will never be without sour cream now (which reminds me, I need to run to the store).  We both have in our heads certain foods, styles of preparation, and condiments which are a must with certain foods - and those ideas are not always conjoined.

Being older and more set-in-our-ways has caused some - shall we say - differences, as well.  Not only do we have certain ideas and habits when it comes to menu-planning, we also have our own ways of preparing and our own favorite recipes. Those don't always overlap either.   (I've even joked that if it isn't the way his mother or grandmother prepared it, then it is prepared incorrectly.) 

Like any married couple probably has, I've shed some tears, he's pursed his lips, we've both gritted our teeth at times when it came to meals, menus, and cooking.  However, I think we are both growing to adjust and adapt.  My attitude has sort of come to the point that on a day-to-day basis, I'm going to cook and eat what I want and like.  If he chooses to also enjoy that, then good for him.  If not, he can fix what he wants.  Most times he will give my 'weird dishes,' and 'weird conglomerations,' and 'city cooking' a try and winds up liking them.  (Like earlier this week when I made Chicken and Broccoli Cobbler.  You can find the recipe HERE.)  Most times I absolutely love what he prepares and I have the added pounds to show for it.  

So, I guess we have achieved that happy-medium at this point.  There are still times when he isn't going to give on what I really like and I'm not going to eat turnip greens or sour kraut unless there is nothing else available and I've gone a long time without food.  (Yes, I will lovingly prepare it for him if necessary - like I did HERE but that doesn't mean I'm going to like it or taste it.) 

So, today, while Mike had to work - overtime - again - and I had one of my favorite meals:
tomato soup in a cup, cheese, and Ritz crackers